Such a beautifully written story and theme a lot of us will identify with. I totally do. Sigh.
Day 27 of 100 Indian Tinder Tales. K from Edinburgh shares her story.
“It was perfect. You don’t expect that from Tinder. Even outside India, in lands we hail ‘progressive’ and sexually liberated, there are stigmas. Tinder is for desperate people. Why don’t you try another platform? There’s Happn for the classical romance kinds, Bumble for the gender equality-loving ones, Plenty of Fish for the slightly quirky; but Tinder is the worst. Horror stories abound, I ignored it, new city merited new people.
He seemed perfect. Artsy and intelligent, he cut straight across the niceties and demanded we meet, because he wanted to get to know ME not a virtual shadow. My friends freaked out, he could be a serial killer, don’t go! He could. But it was a cake date, it seemed perfect. I first saw him, I remember his kind eyes. We spent the next 3 hours discussing politics, literature, music, society, and of course, cake.
The next date was 5 hours of chatter, the cafe had to ask us to leave. The next one 7 hours. We frequented sushi bars and book stores, collaborated over academics, there was no pressure, but open communication between two wonderful minds.
My friends said something’s wrong, he’s okay with no sex? You met him on Tinder? He’s probably gay. He’s just fascinated by your Indianess. You’re a multicultural experiment, an anecdote for his next pub night. Was I?
He challenged every stereotype I held about men. He was open and polished, he cooked with a passion bordering erotic, he played music pieces from my favourite composers, he smelled divine, he adored his work, he’d let me pay on dates after joking about the fragility of masculinity. He helped me accept the body I had been so systematically trained to hate, he loved bits of me I was most ashamed of. Everything was perfect. Too perfect.
Doubts crept in. Constant barrages of ‘but-he’s-on-Tinder-something-must-be-wrong-with-him’ honestly made me wonder. Is there? What if? What have I gotten myself into? The pressure and worrying built up. I exploded. Indulged in some classic self-sabotage. Cornered him enough to make him back out.
My friends swooped in, he used you. We told you that’s how Tinder works. Honestly, I wish I had told them to back off. I wish I had shut everything out. I wish I hadn’t over-analysed and always held back. I wish I hadn’t lied, I wish I hadn’t escaped. I wish I had genuinely enjoyed the moments. I wish we don’t always strive to live risk-proof lives, we don’t approach things with preconceptions and don’t let pride or prejudice get in the way. I wish we don’t make checklists, because people can’t be perfect, they won’t ‘fit’ your wish list, and that doesn’t make them any less likely to be amazing.
A friend asked me if she should try Tinder, I said do it. She hesitated, what if I see someone I know on it? It’s about experiences and meaningful lessons, it’s about figuring out who you are and making peace with your own intersectional identities. We we’re swiping across guys together, I saw his profile, all refurbished, and weirdly enough, that made me happy. It’s the circle of life.”